Winging It with Tommy Bowe: London

Ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations clash with England in Twickenham this weekend, Irish rugby hero Tommy Bowe caught up with former England and Lions legend, Ugo Monye, for a whirlwind tour of London’s secret hotspots. Despite squaring off against each other during many memorable Ireland v England duels over the years, the rival wingers have stayed good mates off the field. 


Planning a trip to London? Take a closer look at the off-the-beaten-track places the two rugby stars visited.


Tommy and Ugo kicked off their day out with a walk down rugby memory lane and a couple of underground cappuccinos in Attendant.

This 19th-century public toilet-turned-speciality-coffee shop is a proper hidden gem in the heart of Fitzrovia. Complete with the original porcelain urinals and Victorian tiles, a trip to Attendant is like stepping into another world.

The super cool café roasts its own espresso blend and serves up a delicious array of breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes, including avocado smash and a pork belly bowl. Check out the mouth-watering menu and plan your visit.

TUBE STATION: A five-minute stroll takes you to Oxford Circus.


Next on the agenda for the boys was a spot of food in the legendary E. Pellicci café in Bethnal Green. This family-run greasy spoon has been cooking up full English breakfasts alongside Italian classics since the Pellicci’s first opened its doors in 1900.

In its 120-year history, this tiny café with a larger-than-life atmosphere has welcomed diners from every corner of the world. As Ugo puts it, a visit to E. Pellicci is about more than the delicious food; it’s about the experience.

Having said that, the spinach and ricotta cannelloni, the homemade chicken pie, the chunky chips and the garlic ciabatta all come highly recommended.

TUBE STATION: Bethnal Green is a short seven-minute walk from the café.


Follow in Tommy and Ugo’s footsteps with a trip to God’s Own Junkyard on the outskirts of East London. In Tommy’s words, the gallery is ‘the most glorious neon treasure trove you’ve ever set your eyes on.’

Packed full of neon signs, retro fairground displays, circus lighting and props from Hollywood movies, the mind-blowing warehouse needs to be seen to believed.

Visitors can enjoy freshly baked treats or sip on cocktails under the neon lights in The Rolling Scones, the on-site café, open Friday to Sunday.

TUBE STATION: The gallery is a 15-minute walk from Walthomstow Central.


The boys ended their big day out in London in Cahoots cocktail bar  in an abandoned tube station in Soho.

Swing by the 1940s Tube-themed watering hole for a fabulous selection of late-night tipples, great grub and live entertainment seven days a week.

There are three different rooms to experience in Cahoots. Book in advance to nab a cosy booth in The Control Room. Stop by The Ticket Hall for a retro afternoon tea. Or head down to the Underground for cocktails.

TUBE STATION: Cahoots is a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus.

Fancy following in Tommy and Ugo’s footsteps? Find London flights.

Read next: Our London food and drink guide 2020